From the month of May, Kenya will enforce regulations requiring property developers to install and use solar water heating systems. This is in efforts to implement a green economy strategy towards sustainable development. Under the strategy the country hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 15 per cent by 2030.

The Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012 come into force after a five-year grace period meaning buildings with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding 100 litres per day must install solar heating systems. Additionally, owner of premises, architects and engineers engaged in the design, construction, extension or alteration of premises shall incorporate solar water heating systems in all new premises designs and extensions or alterations to existing premises, says the regulations.

From the Energy Regulatory Commission website, premises that are targeted under the regulations include Domestic Residential Premises, Educational Institutions, Health Institutions, Hotels and Lodges, Restaurants, Cafeterias and other eating places and Laundries.

Moreover, it adds that failure to comply with any prohibition or order of the Commission under any of these Regulations commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
The deadline for compliance is May 25, 2017.

Kenya is estimated to have less than 3,000 solar photovoltaic technicians whilst the regulations require that only licensed technicians should be allowed to design and install solar systems.

The passing of this law will ignite solar energy uptake in the country as the regulations will see the removal of value added tax on renewable energy equipment.

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